Don't ask me. Here, a sampling of students and parents can tell you about their experiences.
University of St. Andrews
Jill was always super helpful both in writing my college essays and the application process in general. She helped figure out what I wanted to write about in my essays, refine those essays, and helped me create writing that I am still proud of. Jill also helped me with all other parts of the application process, from helping me fill out the application forms themselves to finding online college fairs to attend. Overall Jill made the process of finding and applying for colleges as easy as possible, and I don't know if I would have found the college I will be attending without her.
-TS - Class of 2025
San Diego State University
The college application process for 2020-2021 was anything but simple. With the chaos of a pandemic causing constant and unpredictable change, applying to schools was even more confusing than it probably would have been without the circumstances of this crazy year. Having someone to help guide me through this incredibly complicated process was helpful beyond words. I was able to have constant communication with Jill, ask questions about my applications, and get feedback whenever I needed it. I can thank Jill for keeping me on track, and always ahead of schedule which made for the least stressful process I could ask for.
BB - Class of 2025
University of British Columbia
I am deeply grateful for Jill’s dedication and expertise during my college application process. Looking back, I can’t help but remember how daunting the application process was to enter. Jill helped to mitigate the inevitable anxiety through her unwavering support. Jill has an acute understanding of what colleges look for in an application. Furthermore, she has an understanding of how to identify the nuances between schools that helped me pick and apply to schools appropriately. But what I am most grateful for was Jill’s ability to turn such a daunting task—that is the whole process at large—into a succession of manageable steps. Jill helps to break down the application process into steps that feel not only doable, but sometimes even enjoyable. She helped me learn to weave myself, my curiosity, and my creativity into the process. For that, I am forever grateful!
-KS - Class of 2024
University of Washington
Jill exceeded expectations in every way. She formed an independent and meaningful relationship with our typically introverted high schooler and helped him to explore what he wanted in a college and college experience. She took so much off our our plate by setting realistic deadlines and expectations for our son and guiding him through the entire process from deciding where to apply through acceptance. Jill helped our son craft a poignant essay and collaborated with him on the best attributes to highlight in his applications. Keeping a busy high school senior on task is not an easy endeavor. However, Jill skillfully managed to ensure that our son's work on his applications was both timely and high quality. In our final call when our son consulted Jill on the difficult decision of choosing between two excellent options, I heard him say "I could not have done it without you." These parents agree.
-MB & LK - Parents - Class of 2024
University of Puget Sound
Jill has an easy and approachable style that was easy for me and my daughter to work with. She asked thoughtful questions, brought up things we hadn't considered or thought of and helped steer us through a notoriously challenging process. She was great at pushing back on me (the mom) when I would feel stressed or anxious about things and reassured me that she and my daughter had it all under control. And they did.
Jill helped direct my daughter through the craft of essay writing and worked with her through deadlines on very sort notice (October of her senior year!). She helped guide her through college decisions. She consistently checked in with me and was always available to answer any questions. She is adept at navigating the delicate balance between parent and child which made the whole process as painless as possible.
We are looking forward to working with her a second time around for our youngest.
A.V. - Parent - Class of 2023
"Jill was a real pleasure for my daughter to work with. Her combination of an upbeat approach and focus on steady tangible progress were the perfect fit. She helped take the stress out of an otherwise challenging endeavor. And her terrific advice on matters ranging from essays to application sequence to selection criteria was invaluable. We are so happy to have had her help."
-MS-Parent - Class of 2022
"Jill made the scariest part of high school the easiest. She helped find the perfect school for me. Without her, I would’ve been lost in the process. She also helped me craft countless essays by making attainable deadlines and a strong personal connection. Whenever I got stuck, Jill was always there to help me because she understood all aspects of my life. She made me feel comfortable and was able to push me to write as well as possible. I honestly don’t think I’d be heading off to my dream school without her. " - QT - Class of 2023
University of Oregon - Clark Honors College
Jill helped me out greatly through the college process. I was scared going into the application process about completing some of the things like the common app essay, but Jill helped me greatly and made the process seamless. With her help I did better than I could have imagined. I got into 11 of the 14 schools I applied to, including Santa Clara, Pepperdine, and University of Washington. She also helped me secure the Presidential Scholarship and Summit Scholarship at the University of Oregon, and helped me get into the Honors College there. Without Jill’s help I do not believe getting this scholarship would have been possible. She is extremely helpful, nice and really cares about each student she works with. If you are stressed about the college process, Jill is the right choice!
-JH - Class of 2024
University of Puget Sound
"Jill was recommended to us by a friend whose child was one year ahead of us in the process. We hadn't planned on working with a counselor outside of my daughter's private school, but the enthusiastic referral from our friend led us to schedule a meeting with Jill. In retrospect, that meeting put our daughter on a new, more positive course for the college admissions process. What had been an overwhelming, even dreaded process turned into an organized plan, reasonable milestones and an opportunity for our daughter to feel in control of it all. Jill wisely encouraged our daughter to start the fall of her senior year with a solid draft of her essay and a short list of schools. She kept our daughter on the timeline through occasional meetings to review. Once accepted, Jill graciously made herself available to help our daughter constructively weigh her choices. I can't imagine getting through the entire process from start to finish without having Jill in our corner." - LH - Parent - Class of 2023
Arizona State University
Working with Mrs. Hall took the stress out of my college application and admissions process. Her extensive knowledge of colleges and programs helped me to refine my list of schools and select a school I truly wanted to attend, rather than just the “best” possible school I could get in to. I couldn't be more excited for next year knowing that I'm going somewhere I'll be both valued and successful.
-AH-Class of 2022
"I'm not sure I could have survived the college application process without Jill. As a working parent, the amount of time involved in the process, along with keeping track of deadlines, was overwhelming. Furthermore, it all coincides when a natural separation is occurring between teens and parents and communication already is often strained. Jill was a life saver and allowed me to be present during the process without becoming a total nag.
My daughter started working with Jill the summer before her junior year. There is so much to balance with the application process and school, it was helpful to start then and meet periodically as needed. Jill helped my daughter stay organized, get through the mental blocks, and in the end gain confidence. I also appreciated the way Jill kept me informed of deadlines and next steps. She has a wealth of knowledge about schools and finding a good match. I would not hesitate to recommend Jill as a college counselor, she is absolutely amazing"
-EM-Parent - Class of 2020
Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo
University of Colorado-Boulder
The college process is stressful and at times felt very overwhelming. Jill helped to keep me on schedule and on task with the huge variety of due dates for essays and applications etc... She kept me focused and set goals for me so I could be far ahead of the due dates set by colleges, which left time for lots of revision. Jill also helped me research colleges based on my interests, which was helpful because the amount of colleges can be overwhelming to sort through. She helped me come up with a short list of schools that we thought would be a good fit for me. She gave helpful insight on how to write a good college essay, as well as helping to brainstorm things about me that make me a unique candidate for each school. She has also continued to check in with me about what to expect next and how to prepare for my college journey. She helped guide me every step of the way and encouraged me to stay one step ahead of other college applicants.
HB Class of 2025
University of St. Andrews
We are so grateful for Jill’s work with our son during his college application process! She developed a supportive and professional working relationship with him that allowed us to maintain a respectful distance from his decision and process. Knowing that Jill was taking care of the deadlines and mechanics, we were able to talk with him more generally about whether he wanted a large or small school, urban or rural, near or far, etc.
Jill worked with him through the spring and summer, ultimately allowing him to submit all his applications by early fall of his Senior year. When my queries to our son about his application progress were met with “I’ve got it” or “I’m on it”, I was reassured by Jill’s updates summarizing his progress in a positive and supportive way. Jill kept our son focused and on schedule without us needing to badger or fight with him about deadlines. She also did a good job helping him to identify schools with a range of acceptance criteria. Overall, working with Jill allowed our son to take ownership of the college selection and application process while having professional oversight and a supportive guide. He is thrilled with the results of his efforts, and we are all excited for his next adventure!
US - Parent - Class of 2025
University of California - San Diego
The college application process was incredibly daunting for me, not least of all because I had no idea where I wanted to go to school. Fortunately, Jill was there to guide me through every step of the process, from recommending colleges and giving advice on how to find a good fit to helping me write essays that were both unique and authentic. With the college application process being so competitive and convoluted, its important to have help from someone who knows the system inside and out. Jill has years of experience and an invaluable wealth of knowledge about what colleges are looking for and how to stand out. She helped me progress from having no idea where I wanted to go to getting into the school of my dreams, and I honestly couldn’t be happier with my results under her guidance
-KS - Class of 2024
After working with Jill throughout my entire college application process, I am glad to say working with her was the best choice I could have made. Her expertise made writing my essay and supplementals much easier and stress free. I also appreciated how she encouraged me to look at Pitzer College, because I likely would never have known about Pitzer without her recommendation. Thanks to Jill’s kindness and encouragement during this process, I am excited and confident in my college choice as I know I will enjoy my school both academically and socially.
-GI - Class of 2024
Arizona State University - Barrett Honors College
My daughter starting working with Jill Hall early spring of her junior year of high school . We chose Jill because I had seen her working with the students at Riverdale High School some years back when my son was a student there, and her warm manner with the students really impressed me. I volunteered at the school often and would see students returning from their college visits and they would be so enthusiastic while sharing what they had learned, experienced and felt there. And Jill would listen to them, and her face would light up, and she would be so engaged as if she too were on the journey with them. It was clear she was highly invested professionally and emotionally.
My daughter adored working with Jill. She would be excited for the appointments and diligently researched the schools that Jill suggested. What my daughter really appreciated was how Jill let her drive the process. She listened to what was important to her and offered tips and structure without pushing. She was very supportive during the essay and supplemental essay drafting process, and when my daughter struggled to bring her SAT scores up to the number she’d been hoping for, Jill made her feel like it wasn’t the end of the world. She was kind and encouraging yet realistic offering alternative strategies and plans. She also reminded my daughter of her many accomplishments that schools would value as much if not more over test scores. Jill also was an effective sounding board when the offers started rolling in and stuck with my daughter through the entire process, reminding her of what she needed to do and when.
I would highly recommend working with Jill Hall. The process was as stress free as it could be. Jill was very honest, realistic but also a positive force, who encouraged my daughter throughout the process and offered prompt and accurate feedback.
-SS-Parent - Class of 2024
Santa Clara University
"Mrs. Hall helped me immensely in my college application process. She kept me on top of my deadlines and was always offering very helpful insight. Without Mrs. Hall the application process would have been very stressful and I am so glad we came in contact. With her guidance I was able to create strong essays that I was proud of far before they were due. Additionally, she is very kind and took the time to get to know me, suggesting colleges that might be in my interest. Mrs. Hall’s dedication to her clients is outstanding and I will be forever grateful for her assistance. I am now going to my dream school!" - SB - Class of 2023
University Of Washington
Jill helped me through the entire process of applying to college, from researching schools that I was interested in and creating a list, to writing my personal essay and countless supplements. Throughout the process she was reassuring and easy to reach through text or email about any issue I was having. It felt like she genuinely cared about finding a school that would be best for me, while pushing me to stay ahead of deadlines. Jill made this incredibly stressful time in my life relaxing and enjoyable, and undoubtable saved me from countless arguments with my parents about applications. I could not be more excited to be attending University in the fall and I look back now on the application process as a positive experience thanks to Jill.
-AD - Class of 2023
University of Puget Sound
Jill Hall helped my son to consider what he really wanted from a college education. He never seemed overwhelmed by the process, but was instead engaged with it for the three years that he met with her. One of Jill’s greatest skills - a talent, really- is knowing how to ask teenagers the right questions at the right time. From the very beginning she had him thinking more deeply about his interests, his ambitions, his strengths and his weaknesses. As a parent, I never felt left out of the process. Instead, I was really pleased that my teenager was inspired to be prepared when he met with Ms. Hall. She motivated him to answer her take home questions, to research schools, and to develop meaningful goals for himself.
My son recently started his first year of college and he couldn’t be happier. He’s at a school that is challenging for him, in a part of the country that he loves, and is fulfilling his long standing ambition of playing a college level sport. He feels like he’s landed in a place where he can truly develop as a whole person over the next four years, and that is in no small part thanks to Jill’s guidance. I’ll never forget the conversation I had with him after one of his meetings with Ms. Hall. I asked him how things had gone and he replied by paying Jill one of the highest compliments one can receive from a teenager: “I really like talking with her. She just understands high school kids!
-DS - Parent - Class of 2022
Jill did a great job helping me stay on top of deadlines and communicating to me what it is I exactly have to do for each college application on the common app. This process seemed daunting and would’ve been much harder without guidance, I think my school counselors and staff do not do a good enough job navigating this process, so it helped to have you there to introduce it to me. One thing that surprised me was Jill seemed to know my strengths/weaknesses/college preferences without me directly telling you everything, and that helped a lot in the process."
-RO - Student - Class of 2022
Jill was an essential part of my college application process. Her expertise on subjects ranging from essay writing to financial aid was crucial to my family and me. She was able to break down each step of the journey into manageable pieces, which allowed me to focus on crafting strong essays without feeling overwhelmed. I so appreciated the way that Jill took the time to get to know me and my needs in order to help me have the most successful application experience. Jill's knowledge and welcoming attitude make her a great fit for any student looking for assistance with their college search and applications.
-ES-Class of 2022
"We were frankly dreading the college application process -- getting our son to do the right research, writing, and decision-making -- but working with Jill made all the difference. She helped him set deadlines, encouraged him through all of the essay writing, and kept him on track throughout. She helped him identify schools that fit with his goals, both the stretch and the more realistic. We were really pleased with the results when the acceptances started to come in and our son had 5 great schools to choose from. We also appreciated Jill's "as needed / pay-as-you-go" approach. For anyone who is even slightly dreading this process, like we were, we highly recommend working with Jill!"
-EL& DW - Parents - Class of 2022
"Ms. Hall made the notoriously stressful process of applying to college seem easy and manageable. From writing essays to making college decisions, she provided support and guidance throughout the whole process. She consistently checked in with me and was always available to answer any questions. Ms. Hall is easy to talk to and genuinely cares about helping students find and apply to colleges that fit their individual needs and goals." CB - Class of 2020
Santa Clara University
“Jill Hall has been helping me with the college application process for almost three years now. I was very hesitant about my writing and the decisions about my future, because I was most likely overwhelmed by having to make such a big decision so soon. Therefore, I valued her honesty the most. Whether it was about the phrasing of a sentence in my essay, the merits of a certain school or deciding my future, Jill was always straightforward and provided the necessary feedback whether it was what I wanted to hear or not. She never sugar-coated her responses, while making sure she was critical and constructive in order to give me the best chance at getting into college. Since Jill was always open and sincere, I felt like I went through the college application process without any surprises, which significantly lowered the stress that came from applications and the decision-making process.” - MK - Class of 2021
“Working with Ms. Hall was an essential part of my college application process, as she helped me craft my Common Application essays and short responses to be specific, concise, and complete in order to reflect my accomplishments. Her help in the college search also was instrumental and helped me reflect on what I truly wanted out of a school and what environment would serve me best as a student.” - SC - Class of 2020
“Navigating the college application process can be a stressful time for both parents and kids. Jill’s help took a lot of that pressure away. She listened and truly wanted the right fit for our son. Her knowledge, insight and advice helped our son identify the best colleges for him to apply to, and then to navigate the application process. As parents, we feel great knowing that Jill has helped our son find the right path to college.” -KG, Parent - Class of 2021
“Jill helped our son with all aspects of the college application process. In our first meeting it was clear that she had a great deal of knowledge about specific schools, approaches to the common app and essay that would be helpful to all students going through this process.
She was efficient, no nonsense and encouraged performance. I would recommend her to anyone serious about giving themselves/their kids the best chance of cracking the admissions code at the school of their dreams" BD – Parent – Class of 2021
University of Oregon Clark Honors College
“Jill Hall has been helping me with the college application process for almost three years now. I was very hesitant about my writing and the decisions about my future, because I was most likely overwhelmed by having to make such a big decision so soon. Therefore, I valued her honesty the most. Whether it was about the phrasing of a sentence in my essay, the merits of a certain school or deciding my future, Jill was always straightforward and provided the necessary feedback whether it was what I wanted to hear or not. She never sugar-coated her responses, while making sure she was critical and constructive in order to give me the best chance at getting into college. Since Jill was always open and sincere, I felt like I went through the college application process without any surprises, which significantly lowered the stress that came from applications and the decision-making process.” MK, Class of 2021